New state-of-the-art theme park attraction revealed
A STATE-of-the-art animal research centre will be built at one of the Gold Coast's biggest theme parks.
The State Government will this morning announce it will spend $2.7 million in partnership with Dreamworld to expand the park's Corroboree and wildlife area.
It will include the Dreamworld Future Lab, a "world-class' facility which will be the state's first native animal genome research facility
Gold Coast-based Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the new development was the latest step in diversifying the city's economy.
"It will allow us to deploy experts to tackle some of the biggest issues facing our native wildlife - like the threat of chlamydia on the local koala population," she said.
"It will be the first of its kind in our state and will enhance the research capabilities of experts at the University of Queensland by allowing researchers and science undergraduates up-close contact with animals in the field.
"Our native animals are a hit with tourists around the world, particularly Chinese visitors today's announcement will help to keep the Gold Coast front-of-mind for prospective tourists."
Construction will begin mid-year.
It is the latest in a series of big announcements for the Coomera theme park.
Once open, it will allow school groups and visits to get a first-hand look at research being performed.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the project would be funded through the State Government's Advance Queensland Connecting with Asia initiative.
"When it's complete, the Future Lab will be the only operational scientific laboratory in Queensland that will have the practical capability to create a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) tourism experience visitors based on the conservation of koalas and other wildlife," she said.
"The Dreamworld Future Lab will give our experts vital access to native species and will help to build on Queensland's world-leading reputation for science and technology."
Dreamworld's General Manager Life Sciences, Al Mucci said he believed the development would be a "world-first" by allowing the public to see the researchers working on current wildlife conservation projects.